The most memorable and engaging tv ad examples don’t just sell products — they stay with us for years afterward.
Use this list of the best TV ads of all time to inspire your next creative campaign
There are different types of TV commercials, including traditional product-focused ads, emotional storytelling ads, and humorous ads. Understanding which type is best for specific marketing campaign goals is essential for optimizing impact and effectiveness.
In this article, we highlight television ads that demonstrate the creative and persuasive power of television advertising. From classic commercials that have become part of popular culture to innovative and award-winning campaigns, each TV advertisement example showcases the diverse approaches brands can take to engage with consumers.
Dig deeper with The Marketer's Guide to Linear TV Advertising in 2024.
TV Advertisement Examples
A great TV advertisement example possesses several key qualities that make it effective and impactful. First and foremost, it must capture the audience's attention within the first few seconds to ensure that the message is received. This can be achieved through visually striking imagery, compelling storytelling, or a catchy jingle. The ad should also convey a short, simple story that resonates with the viewers and reflects the company's values, brand identity, and overall product quality. These elements should apply whether your ad is funny, catchy, to tells a compelling story.
Funny commercials capture our attention with humor but leave a lasting impression long after viewing. Whether they use slapstick humor, clever wordplay, or unexpected plot twists, these advertisements often have us laughing out loud while sharing them with friends and family.
John West Salmon - Bear Fight
The John West Salmon Bear Fight ad is a creative and impactful advertisement that features a surreal nature documentary style. The ad depicts an employee of John West fighting a bear to catch fresh salmon, highlighting the company's commitment to providing the highest quality seafood. The ad is both humorous and visually stunning, capturing the attention of viewers with its unexpected and entertaining concept.
The impact of the ad is evident in its viral success, as it quickly gained popularity and was shared widely across social media platforms. The ad effectively showcased the brand's dedication to sourcing the best salmon, while also creating a memorable and shareable experience for viewers.
Old Spice - The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
The Old Spice "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" advertisement has had a significant impact and success since its debut. This ad features a charismatic and shirtless man delivering a smooth, witty monologue about being a "real man" and using Old Spice body wash. It quickly went viral, amassing millions of views on YouTube and becoming a cultural phenomenon.
The concept of using humor and hyperbole to rebrand a classic men's product and the ad's rapid, widespread appeal made it culturally significant. It effectively redefined the Old Spice brand and remains a benchmark for successful advertising campaigns.
Catchy commercials are TV ad examples we continue to think about after watching them. Whether it's a jingle we can't get out of our heads, a clever tagline, or a memorable celebrity spokesperson, catchy commercials are designed to be both memorable and recognizable.
Kit Kat - Give Me a Break
In 1988, Kit Kat launched its iconic "Give Me a Break" ad campaign with a catchy jingle that became a cultural phenomenon. The jingle featured the repetitive lyrics "Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar," which quickly became ingrained in the public's consciousness. The ad showcased people taking a break from their daily routines and enjoying a Kit Kat bar as a way to relax and recharge. This jingle became synonymous with the Kit Kat brand and is still recognized by people today.
Meow Mix - Meow Mix Cat Food
Meow Mix cat food has been a household name for over 50 years, known for its catchy jingle and nostalgic advertising. The brand's iconic jingle, "Meow, meow, meow, meow," debuted in the 1970s and has become synonymous with the product. Over the years, Meow Mix has continued to utilize the jingle in its marketing campaigns, becoming a memorable and viral sensation among consumers.
Weird commercials have become a staple of modern advertising, with companies attempting to find new and unusual ways to capture the attention of consumers. From talking animals to surreal scenarios, weird commercials can be a hit or miss, but they always manage to leave a lasting impression.
Skittles - Treadmill
The Skittles commercial "Treadmill" is a prime example of the brand's experimentation with “oddvertising” and the use of quirky and strange content to grab attention. The ad features a unique character sweating Skittles while running on a treadmill, which is both quirky and attention-grabbing. This showcases Skittles' willingness to embrace strange and unconventional ideas to stand out in the crowded advertising landscape.
Mountain Dew - Puppy Monkey Baby
Mountain Dew's "Puppy Monkey Baby" commercial for its Super Bowl ad combined a puppy, a monkey, and a baby to create a hybrid creature that danced around and offered Mountain Dew's Kickstart drink to a group of friends. The ad aimed to captivate its target audience of young adults by using a combination of cute and playful elements to grab their attention and create a memorable impression.
The ad received polarizing reactions, with some viewers finding it bizarre and off-putting, while others found it humorous and entertaining. However, the ad successfully achieved its goal of standing out and generating buzz, ultimately driving attention to the Mountain Dew brand.
Emotional commercials have the power to move consumers and connect with audiences on a deeper level. These ads are designed to evoke strong emotions which help to forge strong brand connections.
Budweiser - Don't Drink & Drive
The Budweiser "Don't Drink & Drive" ad is a powerful and emotional piece that delivers a strong message against the dangers of drinking and driving. The ad cleverly utilizes emotional storytelling through the use of a heartfelt narrative and evocative visuals, effectively conveying the potential consequences of making the wrong choice. By focusing on the impact of a tragic event, the ad also compels viewers to consider the real-life implications of their actions, leaving a lasting impact on their minds.
NHS - Give Blood
One of the most impactful Give Blood campaigns from the NHS featured a trusted British milkman making blood deliveries to people in need, particularly a young pregnant woman. Along with the vital message about donating blood, what sets this campaign apart is its consideration for accessibility, both in content and delivery. For example, the campaign includes subtitles for those who are hard of hearing or prefer to watch videos without sound, ensuring that the message reaches the widest audience.
Classic commercials are not just advertising, they are a part of pop culture history. From iconic jingles to memorable characters, these commercials have impacted society and established brand reputations for decades.
Tootsie Pop - “How Many Licks?”
The "How many licks?" campaign has maintained its significance and popularity over the years, becoming a classic and iconic ad that has stood the test of time. Its impact is evident in its continued use in Tootsie Pop marketing and its enduring presence in popular culture. The ad's catchy jingle and memorable question have made it a beloved part of many people's childhoods, and it continues to resonate with new generations of consumers. The campaign's staying power highlights its effectiveness in creating a lasting impression and cementing the Tootsie Pop brand in the minds of consumers.
The "Got Milk?" campaign's iconic tagline and depictions of memorable and humorous interactions made it a memorable and enduring marketing initiative. It has been parodied and referenced in various forms of media, which boosted milk sales in the short term and left a lasting impression on consumers and popular culture.
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